The use of deterministic parsers on sublanguage for machine translation

  • Jacqueline M. Archibald

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    For more than forty years, research has been on going in the use of the computer in the processing of natural language. During this period methods have evolved, with various parsing techniques and grammars coming to prominence. Problems still exist, not least in the field of Machine Translation. However, one of the successes in this field is the translation of sublanguage. The present work reports Deterministic Parsing, a relatively new parsing technique, and its application to the sublanguage of an aircraft maintenance manual for Machine Translation. The aim has been to investigate the practicability of using Deterministic Parsers in the analysis stage of a Machine Translation system. Machine Translation, Sublanguage and parsing are described in general terms with a review of Deterministic parsing systems, pertinent to this research, being presented in detail. The interaction between machine Translation, Sublanguage and Parsing, including Deterministic parsing, is also highlighted. Two types of Deterministic Parser have been investigated, a Marcus-type parser, based on the basic design of the original Deterministic parser (Marcus, 1980) and an LR-type Deterministic Parser for natural language, based on the LR parsing algorithm. In total, four Deterministic Parsers have been built and are described in the thesis. Two of the Deterministic Parsers are prototypes from which the remaining two parsers to be used on sublanguage have been developed. This thesis reports the results of parsing by the prototypes, a Marcus-type parser and an LR-type parser which have a similar grammatical and linguistic range to the original Marcus parser. The Marcus-type parser uses a grammar of production rules, whereas the LR-type parser employs a Definite Clause Grammar(DGC).
    Date of AwardAug 1992
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorPeter J B Hancock (Supervisor)


    • natural language
    • processing
    • parsing strategies
    • determinisitic parsers
    • sublanguage
    • machine translation
    • artificial intelligence

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